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If you are going to iterate, *always* add new players

By on October 20, 2010
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I read this blog post on the Picaroon website (Picaroon is an MMO RTS in beta).

One key element leaped out at me: If you are going to try iterative development and continually release new updates to a group of alpha or beta testers, it’s vital to keep adding new users to the group.

As the post says:

“[you need to be] reminded – continuously – what it is like to play your game for the first time.”

I think this is extremely strong advice to games developers, who suffer, more than most, the dangers of designing for your most vocal customers, not your most representative ones.

Of course, I prefer open betas, but if youi are going to operate closed betas of any sort, keep adding fresh blood.

Otherwise your game will get harder, more inaccessible and – likely- less successful with each interation.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com